Contrasts Between Iran and United Arab Emirates Exports of Polyethylene

Iran and UAE do not publish timely trade statistics, but, their exports are visible in large part from trading partner import statistics. For Iran, these show a drop in polyethylene exports through August 2020 and dependence on a limited number of markets; for UAE, these show export growth and a broader range of markets.

Iran exported 1.5 million tons of ethylene polymers (all grades) through August 2020, down 18% from the same period in 2019 based on import statistics from nearly 100 countries. Two markets, China and Turkey, accounted for more than 95% of the total. China imported 1.3 million tons YTD, down 20%. Turkey was nearly the only growth market for Iranian polymer, volume up 35%, to 121,000 tons. Many other markets registered steep declines.

UAE exports of polyethylene generally trended higher from mid-2019 through August 2020, volume at 1.9 million tons August YTD, up 11%. The top two markets, China and India, accounted for about 75% of the total. In contrast to Iran, China imported higher volumes from UAE, 1.2 million tons, up 26%. Imports into India from UAE fell 3%, to 263,000 tons. Several other sizable markets reported higher volumes from UAE.

From International Trader Publications’ All Polymers of Ethylene World Trade Report, a continuously updated analysis of polyethylene (all grades combined) global trade between countries and regions based on ITP’s database of 100 countries.